• Bennington arrest leads to Mass. murder charge
     | September 22,2013

    BENNINGTON — An investigation conducted across two states last week has resulted in a murder charge against a North Adams, Mass., man who was arrested Thursday in Bennington.

    David A. Delratez, 41, is expected to be arraigned Monday in Northern Berkshire District Court.

    David Capeless, district attorney for Berkshire County, said investigators arrested Delratez on Friday evening and charged him with murder and larceny of a motor vehicle. Delratez is being held without bail at the Berkshire County House of Corrections.

    While Delratez is now accused of killing Ellen DePaoli, 84, of North Adams, the events surrounding her death are unclear.

    Last week, Capeless said the death of DePaoli, who was found in her home Tuesday evening, had been ruled a homicide. No information has been released about the cause of her death, whether it involved a weapon and what the motive might be.

    The latest information from the district attorney’s office indicates DePaoli and Delratez were neighbors in North Adams: DePaoli lived at 409 Walker St. and Delratez at 512 Walker St., but Capeless gives no indication whether they knew each other.

    Sgt. David Dutcher of the Bennington Police Department said in an affidavit that Delratez assaulted a woman in Clarksburg, Mass., on Jan. 27, 2012. He was convicted in May for the assault, in which police said he punched a woman in the face and held a knife to her throat while threatening to kill her.

    Delratez was sentenced to probation in that case, then was accused of breaking into the same woman’s home Sept. 13. North Adams authorities issued a warrant for Delratez’s arrest after police could not find him to charge him with burglary.

    North Adams Detective John LeClare requested assistance from Bennington police because Delratez had friends there. North Adams police were also able to track Delratez’s cellphone to Valentine Street in Bennington, where they found DePaoli’s car Thursday.

    On Friday, Delratez waived his right to contest extradition back to Massachusetts.

    Capeless praised the officers who were involved in Delratez’s arrest.

    “Great appreciation is due to the many investigators who worked tirelessly in this case, some several days with little or no sleep,” Capeless said in a statement. “It was through the coordinated efforts of multiple police agencies that we were able to make this arrest.”

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